Criteria for the Evaluation of Scholarly Research Project Final Reports
The pass/fail grade for the Scholarly Research Project will depend on the evaluation of the final paper/product as noted below and on demonstration of longitudinal activity throughout the preceding two plus years. This longitudinal activity is documented in part by the regular progress reports. Thus, a report of work completed in mid-MSII with no further activity would not be acceptable. Examples of continued activity could include further work on aspects of the project, further literature review, further discussion with mentors on the responses to the project, as well as further work on aspects of the project. This continued work must be represented in the final product. For students who switch scholarly research projects at any point during the process, the progress reports for both projects will count towards this requirement.
For students who produce paper(s) as part of their scholarly research project, these documents can be turned in as a final product. However, if the paper does not address the items below, separate documentation in the form of a brief write up will be needed. Any other formal publications such as conference abstracts should also be turned in.
- Significance. The student should make clear to the reader the rationale for the project. If the aims of the project were achieved, how will scientific knowledge or clinical practice be advanced or the next follow-on project be defined or facilitated?
- Approach. The conceptual, clinical, or social framework, design, methods, and analyses should be developed, well integrated, well reasoned, and appropriate to the aims of the project. They should be described in enough detail that someone wanting to repeat the project could do so from what the student writes in the paper.
- Independence. While it would be unreasonable (and oxymoronic) to expect a mentored project to be performed entirely independently, it should be clear to and attested by the mentor that the student designed and/or executed the project him- or herself and interpreted the outcome, product, or result independently before discussing it with the mentor.
- Originality. It should be clear from the paper what it is that is “original” about this project. This could be, for example, the experiments, studies, or novel contribution to the current state of the science in the field of study.
- Project Limitations. Alternative Approaches, and Future Directions. The student should make it clear to the reader that he or she understands the limitations of the project as it was conducted, the alternative approaches that might have been taken, and the future directions that are suggested or made possible by the results presented.
- Special Considerations. It is recognized that not all scholarly projects will be publishable or have significant positive results. In this instance, the final report should indicate what value the execution of the project has had for both the student and the relevant field of endeavor.
- Ethical Considerations. In accordance with Federal Regulations, final reports that contain data collected involving human subject or animal research without appropriate approval of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) will not be accepted.